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Guitarist Searches for Tabs When Someone Requests a Steve Vai Song

Guitarist David Smash—whose YouTube moniker is Dovydas—was performing a solo gig at a brewery in Bradenton, Florida, one Tuesday night this summer.

Besides the fact that it was a slow night (his audience consisted of five people, which happens to the best of us), everything was going along just fine—until someone threw him a curve ball and requested a Steve Vai song. The song in question is "Tender Surrender," a track from 1995's Alien Love Secrets.

We'll let Smash take it from here:

"I was doing my live looping improvisation show," he says. "One lady was cracking jokes in between songs, and then she threw out the most unexpected request I've ever received. I usually don't include audience interactions in my videos, but this was so rare and funny I just had to keep it in."

Instead of giving up, Smash scrambled and seriously thought it through; he searched for tabs online and played his own version of the classic Vai tune. You can watch it unfold below; below that, you'll find a live performance of the song by Vai (for a bit of context). Enjoy!

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas (opens in new tab), was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron (opens in new tab), a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (opens in new tab). He now plays in two NYC-area bands.